Sawstop 1.75hp Contractor vs Professional

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Forum topic by Jeffhaynes007 posted 12-09-2014 04:24 PM 8139 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 1233 days

12-09-2014 04:24 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question tablesaw

I am trying to find out what the difference between Sawstop’s 36” Contractors saw with cast-iron wing add on and Sawstop’s 36” Professional saw. Due to power constraints, both would be the 1.75hp. I went to Sawstop’s web site and looked at their comparison chart. The professional saw was 0.006” flatter than the contractor saw, the contractor saw was wider (due to the location of the motor mount), and weighing 200 lbs more. I did not see any difference that would make the professional saw $500 better. I could use some insight.

19 replies so far

View paxorion's profile


1107 posts in 2014 days

#1 posted 12-09-2014 04:48 PM

You’re looking at a pretty major difference between a traditional contractor style saw and a cabinet saw fit with a smaller motor. Cabinet saws have more mass and will help with any vibration. There is a very substantial difference when it comes to the trunnion and alignment (table vs cabinet mounted trunnions).

I will add, that the contractor saw if properly tuned is very capable machine. Is it worth $500? That’s more of a question for you. Here are a few other threads and resources to look into

-- paxorion

View knotscott's profile


7982 posts in 3344 days

#2 posted 12-09-2014 05:33 PM

Solids wings and the better fence are standard on the PCS. The internal motor gives the PCS a shorter drive belt for less vibration and more efficient power transfer from the motor. The full enclosure should have better DC, and a smaller footprint where the base meets the floor. The PCS may have cabinet mounted trunnions, which are generally easier to adjust….someone who knows for sure plz correct me if I’m wrong. The PCS has a fairly significant weight advantage too, which aid stability and vibration.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View TheFridge's profile


9249 posts in 1454 days

#3 posted 12-09-2014 05:37 PM

What he said.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View bonesbr549's profile


1531 posts in 3035 days

#4 posted 12-09-2014 05:53 PM

I’ve got the 5hp ICS, and looked at all the models. The differences do justify the price. You will never ever say “I have too much table saw” just won’t happen :)

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View Rob's profile


704 posts in 3039 days

#5 posted 12-09-2014 06:20 PM

When I was looking at the SawStop contractor saw, some of the upgrades were more expensive on the contractor saw than on the PCS. Also worth noting (though you already hinted you don’t want to do any wiring) is that the dust collection blade guard is included “free” with the 3hp PCS, whereas you have to buy it as an upgrade on the 1.75hp saws. I ended up getting the PCS because I wanted to heed the advice, “buy your last tool first” when it came to buying a brand-new stationary machine.

Purely from a “what do I get for my money?” standpoint, SawStop’s contractor saw is not priced competitively with other brands of contractor saws, but their cabinet saw is. You basically pay extra for the safety feature on the contractor saw but get it for free on the cabinet saw. This is what really steered me more toward the PCS. If I wasn’t set on buying a SawStop at that point I couldn’t have justified buying a premium cabinet saw over a contractor saw, but since I was getting a really nice premium saw with the safety feature thrown in for free, I was able to rationalize the upgrade to myself more easily.

There are so many ways to rationalize your decision one way or the other. As long as this saw is an improvement over your current saw (or no saw) you’ll be happy with whichever one you buy, but like others have mentioned I also don’t think you’ll ever regret getting a bigger saw unless you never use it and end up having to sell it at a loss. If you still can’t decide, make a contribution to science and flip a coin.

-- Ask an expert or be the expert -

View Rob's profile


704 posts in 3039 days

#6 posted 12-09-2014 06:37 PM

One more thing: a while back someone on this site said he was able to upgrade his 1.75hp PCS to 3hp by buying the 3hp motor from SawStop. So if you think you ever might want to upgrade, the 1.75hp PCS does give you a definite upgrade path.

Maybe you could do the same with the contractor saw but you’d have to ask SawStop if they’ll sell you the motor for it. They may say the saw isn’t sturdy enough for a 3hp motor or may not have tested the brake in that configuration.

-- Ask an expert or be the expert -

View gtbuzz's profile


427 posts in 2410 days

#7 posted 12-09-2014 07:43 PM

The PCS may have cabinet mounted trunnions, which are generally easier to adjust….someone who knows for sure plz correct me if I m wrong.
- knotscott

That’s right; the PCS and ICS have cabinet mounted trunnions. I’ve never owned another cabinet saw, but in relation to other saws with table-mounted trunnions, my PCS is far far easier to adjust.

View CM02WS6's profile


61 posts in 1311 days

#8 posted 12-10-2014 02:07 PM

Keep us updated on your decision. I’ve been weighing the exact same question. My research indicates that the 30” and 36” fences on the PCS are different, and it seems highly recommended to go with the T-glide with the 36”. Space is an issue for me, and having the motor hang off the back of the CNS is a knock against it.

View Jeffhaynes007's profile


3 posts in 1233 days

#9 posted 12-10-2014 03:13 PM

I have a coupon with Rockler for 20% off so I will probably pull the trigger soon. I want to open the cabinet on the PCS to see if the motor mount is beefier and looked at the adjustment bracket. I will post what my choice is. I want to thank all of you. It has been very helpful.

View a1Jim's profile


117063 posts in 3545 days

#10 posted 12-10-2014 03:29 PM

Welcometo LJs
Knotscott is our resident table saw expert,his information is always spot on. I really value his opinion on table saw and other questions.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Julian's profile


1308 posts in 2659 days

#11 posted 12-10-2014 03:35 PM

Here’s my 2 cents: Upgrade your wiring; add a 220V circuit and get the 3 hp saw. Adding a 220V circuit can be done for less than $200.

-- Julian

View duc996's profile


19 posts in 1465 days

#12 posted 12-10-2014 04:03 PM

Jeff, I don’t think the 20% off coupon will work on the Sawstop purchase.

View Matt Przybylski's profile

Matt Przybylski

546 posts in 2346 days

#13 posted 12-10-2014 04:05 PM

Unfortunately the rockler 20% coupon won’t apply to the saw. They never apply to power tools or Sawstop, Festool, etc. you just don’t get items like these on sale unless the manufacturers put them on sale. Usually the exclusions are printed on the coupon in fine print.

-- Matt, Arizona,

View HarveyM's profile


106 posts in 1991 days

#14 posted 12-10-2014 05:29 PM

Just to add-
Sawstop rates the contractor at 310 lbs with 36” fence, while the PCS is 408 lbs.
I’ve looked at both in the store- if you haven’t seen them in person I’ll note they’re roughly 6 feet wide with the 36” fence (roughly 5 feet with the 30”). So they’ll take a fair chunk of your floorspace in a small shop. My current tablesaw is less than 4 foot wide, so the Sawstops surprised me when I tape measured them.

-- Just a Duffer

View Rob's profile


704 posts in 3039 days

#15 posted 12-10-2014 06:14 PM

As Matt mentioned, your coupon won’t work because SawStop prohibits retailers from allowing any kind of discounts, but SawStop themselves offer various rebates throughout the year specific accessories with purchase of a specific model of saw. For example, when I bought my PCS I had the choice between the over-arm dust collection or mobile base free after rebate. The current promo is for 40T and 80T titanium blades and a standard brake cartridge after rebate, with purchase of the ICS.

If you’re leaning toward the PCS but won’t be able to use the saw for 4 months (e.g., if it’s going in your garage but it will be too cold to work in there), then you may want to wait for them to offer the promo again, but if you’d otherwise be able to make use of the saw I wouldn’t throw away 4 or 5 months waiting for a deal. You can build or buy a mobile base for less than $60.

Also, no matter where you buy the saw, it will cost pretty much the same. Most online resellers have lower prices than Amazon but after they add shipping the price is the same. If you order from an out-of-state reseller who does not have tax nexus in your state, it will also cost about the same as if you buy and pick up the saw from a local reseller who has to charge sales tax (at least it was for me). The only extra savings you can get is if your credit card offers cash back. My Amazon Visa gave me 3% back in Amazon credit, which wasn’t much, but it was better than nothing. I also used an affiliate link from another woodworking site when purchasing the saw, in hopes that it could help support one of my favorite online woodworkers and his podcasts.

-- Ask an expert or be the expert -

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